“Keep the Stars in Your Eyes”
Psalm 147: 12-20; John 1: 10-18; Ephesians 1: 3-14
Pearl: Keeping focused on the North Star: Jesus the Christ.
Function: To lead worshippers to live with the Bright Morning Star in their eyes: Jesus the Christ, and to select their new “Star Word” for 2020.
God made you from star dust so you have “stars in your eyes.”
- You do not have an atom in your bodies that is not the product of some dead star.
- God made us from the ‘dust of the ground,’ Genesis 2:7 declares, but it must have been stardust, the swirling stuff of exploding gas and dust that is flung into interstellar space as a dying star’s core collapses (“Homiletics,” 1/5/’97).
- A pastor ends his letters with a greeting that fits the desert southwest: “Keep the Son in Your Eyes.” Today’s text is saying something similar: “Keep the stars in your eyes!”
The Magi were lured by a star shining brightly in the sky over where the infant Jesus lived. It guided them to behold the miracle of God.
have always guided people, especially sailors. The North Star can literally be
a guide in navigation but it can also be the notion of having a major guiding
principle or idea.
- A neuropsychologist suggests that in times of feeling rattled and discombobulated it is helpful to ask yourself the question, “What’s my North Star?” When you ask that question answers begin to come and you begin to “feel better, calmer, and more resolved” (“Just One Thing: Find Your North Star,” Rick Hanson, May 11, 2012).
the beginning of a brand New Year it is a good and helpful question to ask. “What
is my North Star?” It is a “centering” kind of question. The answers to this
question serve to help us organize our lives.
- What is interesting about peering into the stars in outer space is that we are peering into the past. The farther we peer into the heavens, the farther back in time we are looking.
- When pictures came back from the Hubble telescope they were of events that happened thousands and thousands of years ago.
star which shown brightly to guide the Magi was of old and the product of
prophecy and expectation.
- The Christ-event which happened a couple of thousand years ago now continues to guide you and continues to guide the church as a star in the sky!
- Jesus was born long ago, but his life and spirit still shines brightly and boldly.
- So his people should shine brightly as well. You who are his people are meant to have “stars in your eyes.”
testimony of today’s readings of scripture and the testimony of the church
through the ages is that in major and in minor ways Jesus the Christ answers the
question “What is my North Star?”
- Paul in his letter to the Ephesians wrote it this way: “…[God] made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1: 9,10).
- The majestic opening of John’s gospel reads: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace…” (John 1: 16).
For the Christian your greatest guiding “North Star” is Jesus the Christ; he is your “Polaris.”
was and is the fulfillment of God’s plans from the beginning.
- It says God will “gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10). Whatever that means, “To gather up all things in him” God made Jesus the focal point of all things.
can Jesus be your North Star? That is a very good question to keep on asking!
one thing he should give you hope. His is a star which will never stop shining.
Today many feel discouraged at the state of things.
- Whether it be terrorism;
- Whether it be American politics;
- Whether it be how people hate other people;
- Whether it be the plight of the poor;
- And all injustice;
- People are discouraged and cynical.
- But Christ shines and will only shine brighter and brighter in time.
- If you try to look beyond the limits of chronological time, to eternal time, things look brighter.
guides you to shine as well. You are the church of the shining
One: Jesus the Christ and you are meant to shine!
- Marianne Williamson wrote: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
- For one thing he should give you hope. His is a star which will never stop shining. Today many feel discouraged at the state of things.
Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s plans and he is the fulfillment of every living being.
the 18th verse of the first chapter of John we read “No one has ever seen God. It is God the
only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”
- Shine like the Son and so shine like the God who sent him!
- Jesus is the “bright morning star” (The Book of Revelation).
Jesus is the fulfillment of God he is, as our North Star, the fulfillment of
our lives and of everything living, even all creation. As Paul wrote in
Ephesians 1: 23, “[he] fills all in
- Jesus makes God known.
- Jesus makes known God’s ways.
- Jesus is the key to God’s restoration of all things “gathering up all things in heaven and on earth in him” (Eph. 1:10).
- To know God get to know Jesus. Everything you think you know of God should be filtered through what you know of Jesus. Everything is fulfilled in him.
Jesus the Christ is the North Star of the church universal. What does the church look like when you have “stars in your eyes?”
- Young Jeff, a lawyer, and his physician wife,
Sue, were led by the “stars in their eyes.” They chose to live in a part of the
city of Indianapolis, Indiana, where other people wouldn’t even get out of a
car. Street violence occurs daily; homeless men and women crowd streets; street
children wander aimlessly and unsupervised; drug trafficking is endemic. Jeff
and Sue rejected the suburbs where their coworkers reside.
The houses on those inner-city streets have indoor plumbing. They have electricity, and central heating and telephones. They have color TVs, and microwaves and CD players. What they don’t have much of is aspiration, or hope, or love or a sense of our individual human value as children of God.
Because this young couple can’t look at these people without seeing stars in their eyes, they have decided not to live where their colleagues live. Instead they live with and are in a position to help those who need to see the stars the most.
Presbyterian Church acts with “stars in your eyes” as you:
- Help with Porcupine Missions by going along on a trip or by helping raise money for it and by seeking justice for American Indians.
- As you give financially to the work of the church or serve as a Sunday school teacher;
- As you work to beautify our facility and grounds to the glory of God;
- As you help with the clothing ministry outreach;
Presbyterian Church, you are most definitely being called today to act
according to the stars which are in your eyes; most especially the Star of
Jesus Christ, your bright North, Morning Star!
- G.K. Chesterton preached, “If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might the heart of
become in its long journey toward the stars?”
is the day in which we receive our new “Star Words” to be used as a spiritual
practice. As the plate comes around containing new Star Words please take one
and use it this year as a means to being guided into new vistas as followers of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
- (Pray over the stars and then start the distribution of Star Words. Briefly explain it again for those who do not know about this practice).
The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is a moment in the fullness of time which is eternal because of Jesus Christ. Communion is a “North Star” moment. All is restored and ordered in Holy Communion. We find it today as we go to the Table of the Lord. When you join together in Communion today, find your order, find your restoration, find your destiny, and find your true North, your Bright Morning Star in Jesus the